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NMSU QuickConnect intervention program helps students in need

With the start of the fall semester around the corner, New Mexico State University understands the transition to university life can be an overwhelming experience for some students.

Since 2006, NMSU?s QuickConnect Early Alert and Intervention Program has served as an early warning and intervention system.

The QuickConnect program was created to provide one-to-one intervention to connect students with resources pertinent to their individual needs. All instructors can utilize QuickConnect. Instructors refer students for intervention based on concerns, inside and outside of the classroom.

When an instructor notices a struggling student due to class absences for example, the faculty member can submit an online referral to QuickConnect and a volunteer faculty or staff member, who is a trained responder, will contact the student.

?We need to catch up with those students that all of a sudden, for whatever reason, feel lost,? said Jim Libbin, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences associate dean and director of academic programs.

Libbin, who is a QuickConnect responder, said he could relate to the culture shock some students endure as he did on his first day at the University of Illinois.

?It never dawned on me that I needed to go find classrooms ahead of time,? he said. ?I was a real na´ve kid from a small rural high school and when you go to a big place, you feel overwhelmed at times.?

The QuickConnect program is offered systemwide and available at all NMSU campuses.

Jess Gorell, a Creative Media Institute for Film and Digital Arts assistant professor, said she has used the QuickConnect program when her communications with students aren?t eliciting results.

?I like to use it in addition to certain direct communications so the student is clear on grades, the impact their performance could have on those and their success in our program or at NMSU in general,? she said. ?Also if they are in a position of needing to withdraw from the course, sometimes they become clear on that before it is too late to do so.?

As a responder, Libbin said when he receives a referral he sends the student an email and then he follows up with a phone call if he didn?t receive a response.

?QuickConnect has identified students that just needed a little encouragement, and some that needed a lot of encouragement and a swift kick,? he said.

Libbin added that he hopes more instructors will utilize QuickConnect.

?The whole purpose clearly is the quicker you can get to that student the more likelihood you have of being able to change a behavior,? Libbin said. ?That?s why we need the program, so the kids can say somebody really did care enough to call me. And what am I here for, if I can?t do that??

For more information on QuickConnect, visit http://ssc.nmsu.edu/quickconnect/, call the Student Success Center at 575-646-1342 or email Lisa Kirby at lkirby@nmsu.edu.